It is safe to say that the rise of social media has greatly changed the shape of marketing. One buzzword that is now heard often is viral marketing.
What exactly is viral marketing? It is a marketing strategy that relies on the use of pre-existing social networks to promote a product or a company. The internet has taken the idea of word-of-mouth marketing to the extreme, so that when something being marketed on the internet goes viral, it may be viewed, shared, and engaged with by millions of people. Viral marketing through social media offers companies an avenue through which to reach a lot of people in a very short amount of time. It is an attractive strategy for companies, as it can often be a lot cheaper than other traditional marketing efforts. In addition, as people share content with their social networks, the buzz surrounding the product increases, and the public is doing the marketing themselves without even realizing it.
Viral marketing is consumer-centric, and the level of success achieved relies on a company’s ability to connect with specific demographics and engage them with content that is valuable to them. Identifying that target demographic is the first step. From there, marketers must research and analyze that demographic, and discern what they want and value most in products. Then, they must develop content that is engaging to that demographic and compels them to share it with their own networks. The nature of this content varies widely, but there is one commonality in all viral marketing campaigns: the content gets people talking.
Here are some tips for successfully executing a viral marketing campaign:
- Ensure your content is shareable: As mentioned, the content must engage people the point where they are driven to share it with their networks. Furthermore, the content must be literally easy to share. Ensure that your content is able to be shared across a variety of social media platforms, and encourage people to share it- don’t just let it sit somewhere on it’s own, like on a blog.
- Take advantage of trends. Be attuned to pop culture, current events, trends, and memes. Viral content becomes increasingly relevant when it is able to capitalize on things that people are already talking about, sharing, and engaging with. Still, marketers must do their research and be sure that there is an understanding of the trend’s origin, and the public sentiment towards that trend. Failure to do so can be ill-received and come across as superficial.
- Be sure you are using the right channels. While targeting the right audience is important, reaching them through the right channels is just as important. It is crucial that you know your audience and the channels that they are using most to get their content. If you are not marketing within the right channels, content will not reach the right audience, and it will be nearly impossible for it to become viral.
- Create emotional appeal. As mentioned, content that goes viral is content that gets people talking. By its very essence, viral marketing relies on and plays into people’s emotions. Whether you are creating something that fills your audience with joy, or something that makes your audience angry, it is necessary that the content directly appeals in some way to the emotions of the audience.
- Do something new and unpredicted. Viral marketing is not about simply expressing how great the product or service is that you are selling. Traditional marketing methods already do this enough. Rather, in order for something to go viral, it must stand out, and do something that other content is not doing.
The above tips are only a few of the tricks and techniques that marketers should use in striving for success in viral marketing. Viral marketing is about creativity, connecting with your target audience in new and interesting ways, and creating content that gets people talking, generates buzz for your product, and draws consumers in. And remember- what works and doesn’t work in viral marketing is constantly changing, as viral marketing is reliant on capitalizing on current trends.
If all of this seems daunting, luckily there is a solution. Fanzee is the complete campaign management platform for social media advocacy, and is a great tool for marketers looking to execute successful viral marketing campaigns. With Fanzee, you can relay a message through the social media profiles of anyone affiliated with your organization. This allows you to capitalize on the reach of employees, team members, spokespeople, customers, or anyone else you see fit. Through this tool, you can easily engage new customers, distribute news, and go viral!
If you’re interested in learning more about how Fanzee can take your content viral, go to our website for more information!